Different Grit?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Berkley, Jan 6, 2015.

  1. Berkley

    Berkley Chirping

    Jun 27, 2013
    I typically buy grit at the feed store, and I believe it is crushed granite, and the other is oyster shell for their calcium. I am a general contractor though, and have access to a lot of other natural stone from tear outs. I was wondering if you can give chickens crushed marble? or crushed travertine? I know I can give them limestone for calcium, and travertine is actually a form of limestone, so would this work the same way? And is granite the only kind of rock you can give them as an insoluble grit? or would any other forms of stone work? It's not really a big deal, I was just wondering because it seems like a shame to just always haul all this nice stone to the dump to get rid of it. I would worry about stone tiles since people use chemicals to mop their floors, but stone from walls or a mantle that I would consider clean etc... seems like a waste to just dump it. I searched and couldn't find info on other forms of grit other than granite to help them digest their food, and oyster shell or limestone for the calcium soluble grit, and thought it would be a good idea to find out.
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Contrary to what people may tell you. There is a significant difference between grit and oyster shell.

    Grit is insoluble and lodges in the gizzard to aid in grinding feed. All birds need grit.

    Oyster shell is soluble and its only purpose is to provide calcium for birds that are actively building egg shells.

    Most stones of the appropriate size unless they are well rounded will work for grit. Pastured birds can usually find appropriate grit.

    You'll have to do your research to see if the crumbled stone you have consists of anything that is harmful.

    Some provide dolomitic limestone to satisfy the need of active layers to have calcium but it contains too much magnesium and can be harmful.
  3. Marble is nothing but limestone that has gone through a long period of high heat and extreme pressure.

    I don't think that the stone itself is as important as the mechanical function that it provides

    Whether it is an alligator or a parakeet, animals with a gizzard need grit.

    A brand of grit use to be available called Mineral Grit if I recall. This was a mixture of crushed and screened granite with chunks of marble, hard coal, what looked like small chunks of Brown Iron ore and activated charcoal for good measure. It only came in one size.

    Yes other stones also work.

    There is so much granite, limestone, and marble in the Earth's crust that I suspect these resources to last indefinitely if used exclusively in chicken feed..
    1 person likes this.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    @Berkley How would you get it crushed down to the appropriate sizes?

    Shame it can't be re-purposed intact.

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